I mentioned last week we have a new member at Team EFTM. The LifeStyler is no fan of the limelight, nor does he possess any technical ability to even post an article. In fact I doubt he’s seen a computer or even used a TV. But I can tell you this, life is always good for this sleuth. Last week The LifeStyler took you on a Sydney Beer crawl. This week our man who resides like us in the Harbour City covers what should be the Nation’s Capital, in just half a day.
As a Sydneysider, visitors have asked me many times what they should see in Sydney in only a few hours. So today I am going to share my tour of Sydney in half a day that will not disappoint and will not place undue pressure on the wallet. Perfect to showcase our great city to visitors or for those wanting to play tourist in their own town.
We start and end the tour in the vicinity of Circular Quay, the ferry wharf between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. First stop is the South-East pylon of the Sydney Harbour bridge, the big stone pylon that looks like it supports the bridge but is actually only decorative.
Access is gained not on ground level but from the walking path on the road deck level. Easiest way is to use the lift at the Opera House end of Circular Quay railway station is to get up to the road deck, then follow the walking path till you get to the pylon. Along this route you will also get free fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Once you reach the pylon you have 200 stairs to get to the top. Part way up is a great museum on the history of the bridge and its construction, which also gives you an excuse to catch your breath if stair climbing is not one of your favourite sports.
Note that there is a $25 entry fee which allows you to stay as little or as long as you like. A good time-saving and dollar-saving alternative compared to Bridge Climb with the shortest tour taking 2 ¼ hours and costing from $268. On a nice day the views are spectacular and, unlike the alternative, you can take your own camera to capture those memories.
Next stop is the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House where, at no cost, you can stroll for as long or as little time as you desire. If you want that famous photo of the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge in the background this can be achieved from the harbour foreshore at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Exclude this bit if you are short on time. As a side note, this is a special spot to the LifeStyler as it is the location of his proposal to Mrs LifeStyler.
By now you are getting close to lunch or dinner so time to head back to Circular Quay to catch a Manly Ferry from $7.65 off peak (tip – unlimited public transport can be had for $2.60 on a Sunday). The Many Ferry allows you to take in the magnificent Sydney Harbour which on a sunny day is a lifetime memory and a lot cheaper than taking a tour boat. On disembarking at Manly walk across the road and head to the far side of the Corso, a long row of shops and restaurants, with the famous Manly surfing beach at the far end. This spot is almost as famous as Bondi but not as busy.
Now it is time to sample some Australian fare washed down with a great local brew or wine. On both the beach side and the harbour side you will find plenty of great venues with a view. When you have had enough, find your way back to the ferry to take you back to your starting point in the city.
With overseas visitors I have managed to do this tour starting as late as 3pm and having dinner at Manly. Those of you with a bit more time and money should also drop by Wildlife Sydney Zoo at Darling Harbour right next to the CBD where you can see Australian animals like the kangaroo, koala and platypus from $35 (online pre purchase).
Young and old will enjoy this outing, just make sure you have comfortable shoes and you are OK with walking and stairs for a few hours. Add this one to your buck list you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!